The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

24 February 2009

'Morning Joe' Claims He's Still Conservative


MSNBC's Scarborough Believes He Hasn't Sold Out

To the long
list of talents associated with "Morning Joe" Scarborough, add "comedian". That's because his latest assertion, that he hasn't shifted away from conservatism, has us in stitches here at EQ HQ.

As it's no secret that the price of admission at MSNBC is one's eternal soul, does Joe really believe we're that foolish? Using the Huffington Post and Florida-based media to make his case, Scarborough wants to convince us his views have actually remained remarkably consistent over the years.

This July 2008 Radio Equalizer post, however, links to many of the ideological flaps and oddities of the past several years that have had many scratching their heads. Where does he truly stand?

Among his greatest hits: being duped by Howard Stern's Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonator in 2005.

From the Sarasota Herald-Tribune:

Scarborough said his goal is still to be the conservative voice he has always been, but he works hard not to be mean about it like some other conservative radio personalities. He said he can disagree with Democrats or Republicans, but it doesn’t mean he’s not respecting the otherside.

“There is no reason to be nasty,” Scarborough said. “We can have civil conversation.”

He admits the criticisms he gets from the right and the left probably bother him too much. He recently poured out his thoughts in a blog on, a site Scarborough is routinely blasted on. He said he knows conservatives like Sean Hannity have taken shots at him. He said he’s learning that if it’s coming from both ends, maybe he’s doing his job.

Would Joe care to be specific regarding those "mean" conservative personalities? How about naming names? Here's a wild guess: they are the successful right-leaning hosts with an audience Scarborough could only dream of attaining.

Funny enough, the paper's concern seems to be that he may be drifting back to the right. They might care to take a look at our November 2008 coverage of his new radio gig, where industry insiders wondered how Joe would balance MSNBC's liberal environment with WABC's conservative audience within the course of a single day.

And in December, we also reported on negative early reaction to the radio program, which hasn't changed much since then.

Using the left-wing
Huffington Post to make his case, Scarborough ends up muddling the issue even more, especially when throwing this seemingly irrelevant incident into the mix:

And then last week, my co-host held our producer's baby on her lap. Mika did it for a very complicated reason. She loves babies and when she saw little Andrew in the studio, she grabbed him. Our floor manager counted her in and the camera light turned on before she could return the baby to his father. Because we are very relaxed on set, Mika rolled with it and interviewed Senator Jim Webb with the baby on her lap. It was great TV and that relaxed atmosphere is what many believe makes our show work.

But that harmless little segment was greeted with more vitriolic emails bashing Mika, the baby and me. For some reason, that rage was unfocused and uncontrollable.

I wish I could say I was surprised. But I told Mika and the child's parents that it was par for the course.

And then, yesterday, I was emailed Bob Cesca's post that compared me to infamous red-baiter Joseph McCarthy, a man described by Time magazine as one of the most evil of the 20th Century.

In other words, mean people are picking on poor lil' Joe and it just isn't fair, is it? What Scarborough clearly hasn't learned is that jumping all over the ideological spectrum confusingly from one minute to the next with no real rhyme or reason is a recipe for alienating absolutely everybody.

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  • I have heard Joe Scarborough
    on WABC 770 here in NYC.
    Since starting his radio program
    he has acted more Conservative.
    This is his attempt to fit in on
    the station that carries Rush,
    Sean and Levin.
    It is all an act on his part.
    Also, his show is a horror....
    boring. Also, he is very rude to
    his co host (Mika)

    By Anonymous Philip, at 24 February, 2009 10:40  

  • One man's "ideological flaps and oddities" are another man's ability to think for himself and process information off the control grid.

    By Anonymous hashfanatic, at 24 February, 2009 20:44  

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